The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa is a Lutheran church in South Africa. The Church has 580,000 baptized members. in seven Dioceses in South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland. It became a member of the Lutheran World Federation in 1976 after it was formed out of four previous Synods in 1975. In 2007, the church received approval to perform same-sex marriages, but it is unclear how many congregations have chosen to do so. In 2015, the ELCSA synod discussed same-sex unions but stated that "a marriage is understood as a union only between a man and a woman. Furthermore the valid and unchanged position of our Church is that the blessing of same sex unions is rejected". However, Bishop Dr. Biyela stated that the ELCSA "embraces homosexuals and allows them to worship in their churches as full members".